Did you know that the gardens at Peter White Public Library are maintained entirely by volunteers and donations?

In 2008, Carol Fitzgerald approached the library about developing the garden space in front of the building as part of her master gardener certification project.  She has since completed her certification and continues to head a small group of volunteers, many of who are also earning their master gardener certification as they continue to expand the garden space and make it a pleasant place to read, visit, eat lunch, or simply enjoy being outside.

Children’s Garden:

photo of wraught iron gate featuring a stylized sun, clouds and flowersThe butterfly garden on the south side of the building was created as a master gardener volunteer project shortly after the new addition was completed.  For a few years it was neglected and became overgrown.  In recent years it has been re-established by Master Gardener Carol Fitzgerald.

The wrought-iron gate was created by local black smith and sculptor Gordon Gearhart for the pocket park that was located on the south side of Washington Street.  It was donated to the Library when that space was developed by Aubrey’s.

Youth Services Department and our master gardener volunteers have started a garden club.  Children ages five and up can help plant flowers and veggies and learn how to care for plants.

Garden Club meetings,  every Monday in September and first Mondays in October, November and December, 4:30 pm.

Betsy Clow Memorial Garden:

front with oak IIThe wheelchair-accessible garden area on Front Street was dedicated to Betsy Clow on August 29, 2008. Betsy lived most of her life in Lake Forest, Illinois. In the 1940s she started to visit the Huron Mountain Club, and this tradition continued for over 60 years until her death in February 2005 at the age of 76. Friends and relatives wanted to develop a suitable memorial to Betsy with gifts to PWPL in her memory.

The layout of the paths and walls surrounding the burr oak trees was designed by her godson Ted Haffner.  Her three children Emily, Taddy and K.C. helped with the initial selection of plants.  Master Gardener Carol Fitzgerald has since expanded and maintained the gardens with the help of other volunteers.

How you can help maintain the gardens:

Donations to the library may be designated for garden use.  Garden expenses include the cost of tools, new plants, mulch, fertilizer, and soil.  Donations may be made on-line, dropped off at the main desk, or mailed to

PWPL Garden Fund
Peter White Public Library
217 N. Front Street
Marquette, MI 49855

Individuals interested in volunteering in the garden can contact Carol Fitzgerald via email.